Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather today dismissed allegations that liquor trade is being encouraged in Jammu region and said that he had not issued "even a single liquor licence".
"I want clear all doubts expressed by some members that liquor trade is being encouraged in Jammu region only. I challenge them to prove that during my different tenures as Finance Minister, I have issued even a single liquor licence," Rather said in the Assembly.
He called for undertaking an awareness campaign against liquor consumption and its negative effects on health and families.
Referring to revenue generated from the sale of liquor, the minister said that the excise department was the second major revenue earning department which had realised Rs 721.50 crore up to February this fiscal as against Rs 620 crore last year.
The government had launched a vigorous campaign against the manufacture of illicit liquor and cultivation of poppy, he said, adding that cannabis on 11,031 kanals had been destroyed this year as against 2,403 kanals last year.
On the Accounts and Treasuries Department, he said the computerisation of all the treasuries will be completed by the end of March 2013, for which the Centre has provided Rs 34 crore funds and the state will contribute to a maximum of 10 per cent.
Reacting to the demand by some members, including Harsh Dev Singh, to abolish the Upper House because of alleged financial burden on the exchequer, he said that the Finance department had no such powers and this needed a constitutional amendment.
I Havn't Issued a Single Liquor Licence in J&K: Rather
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